Update on eMail Archieving SaaS

In my never ending quest to investigate and report on the state of SaaS in the legal market, I came across an article Titled “Autonomy, Google and Microsoft battle for SaaS eMail Archiving” by Joshua L. Konkle posted on March 4, 2008 on the DGIC site.

Josh does an excellent job reviewing the current crop of hosted email achieving solutions and the rationale behind the MA activity, the non-MA moves and the partnership choices of some of the players. I would encourage anyone in the legal community that has to deal with eDiscoery to read this article and at least become familiar with who the players are, what they are trying to accomplish, who they partner with and whether or not they are installed with any of your corporate clients or your corporation. You never know when the name of one of these players may come up in a Meet and Confer conference or during cross examination.

However, he didn’t put much of an eDiscovery spin on his analysis. As such, and since it is my impression from the time that I have spent working with law firms and corporate legal departments that email achieving is the central and most misunderstood issues in regards to document retention policy, pre-trial strategy and actual collection of the ESI, I plan to publish my thoughts on SaaS based email achieving and how it relates to eDiscovery in overall eDiscovery Paradigm shift.

Following is Josh’s article:

Many companies consider hosted and SaaS data archiving in order to maintain focus on internal systems and leverage shared expertise. For many mid-sized enterprises managing day to day IT services can be very challenge. For example, architecting, installing, configuring and administering IBM’s Lotus Notes Domino requires someone who is certified in the most advanced Lotus Notes and Domino certification, IBM Lotus Notes Domino 8 Advanced System Administration. Beyond traditional systems management, Lotus Notes Domino also offers an application development environment. Acquiring archiving and eDiscovery services for Lotus Notes Domino may best be done through hosted archiving services.

IBM believed SaaS archiving was a great option for their customers in 2002, which is when they started partnering with Autonomy’s Zantaz/DigitalSafe group. At the time, Zantaz’s only offering was hosted archiving. Zantaz acquired other software companies and SaaS solutions for eDiscovery through 2007, which is when it was acquired by Autonomy. Autonomy continues to maintain that strong relationship with IBM, but also offers SaaS email archiving for Microsoft Exchange, Bloomberg Mail, UNIX Sendmail, etc. Moreover, in a recent analyst survey, Autonomy was identified as having ~50% of the 2500 terabytes or 1.25 petabytes of hosted archive data, a distant second was Iron Mountain, whereas Microsoft/Fortiva captured 9% and Google had 2% (Figure 3.E-Mail Archiving Outsource Market by Total Number of Terabytes Managed)Autonomy/Zantaz (LON:AU), Microsoft/Fortiva (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google/Postini (NASDAQ:GOOG) are three SaaS based archiving solutions you should evaluate if you are considering hosted email archiving and eDiscovery for Microsoft Exchange. Since Microsoft/Fortiva does not support Lotus Notes Domino, you should limit your research to Autonomy and Google if you also require Lotus Notes Domino support.

Autonomy’s Zantaz was founded on the premise of SaaS archiving for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes Domino, whereas Google/Postini started offering it in 2006. Google acquired Postini in 2007 and added significant support and data center services to support their growing Enterprise customer base.

Enterprise customers are critical to Google’s continued growth outside of internet search and advertising. Considering Microsoft’s dominance in enterprise software and Autonomy’s dominance in enterprise search, it becomes very cloudy which of the three would be better bed-fellows. Your choice for SaaS archiving will also set in motion your choice for enterprise search, now that Autonomy, Google and Microsoft all have offerings in both areas.

Autonomy’s IDOL Platform and Microsoft/FAST compete head-to-head in many enterprises, either as enterprise search or as embedded search within applications like EMC/Documentum, Oracle/Stellent, Symantec Enterprise Vault (AltaVista Toolkit), etc. Therefore, Microsoft and Autonomy will continue to compete, as well as Autonomy competing with Google for SaaS Archiving.

Google has just started to compete for Microsoft’s enterprise business. In particular, Google’s acquisition of Postini offers a back door into an enterprise using eDiscovery and email data management as the keys. While Microsoft is concerned about this, the bid for Yahoo certainly raises the hackles of all in charge of Google’s Internet and burgeoning enterprise accounts. Microsoft has no intention of being #1 in the enterprise search space, in fact, it doesn’t need to be. Karim Yaghmour makes several good points about Microsoft’s position with Google.

Microsoft has never targeted the number one vendor, in fact the acquisition of Frontbridge combined with the Fortiva partnership, makes it clear that Microsoft’s knows how to play these enterprise games. Frontbridge is Microsoft’s basic or 2nd tier hosted archiving system, Fortiva is the “go to” solution for enterprises based on search and enterprise data security. Security and privacy are the most critical elements of any hosted solution. When hosted solutions can’t deliver on those, companies chose to manage data in house.

In the end, Microsoft and Google will continue to compete for Internet and enterprise search, as well as enterprise software. Autonomy will pick up clients on the fringe of Microsoft and Google war, such as enterprise eDiscovery and financial compliance. Autonomy currently hosts 14 of the worlds 20 largest banks enterprise email archiving. If you are considering hosted archiving consider three things: 1) your choice will decide your search future; 2) encrypted storage of data, and 3) managing corporate and personal privacy.

About Charles Skamser
Charles Skamser is an internationally recognized technology sales, marketing and product management leader with over 25 years of experience in Information Governance, eDiscovery, Machine Learning, Computer Assisted Analytics, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, IT Automation and ITOA. Charles is the founder and Senior Analyst for eDiscovery Solutions Group, a global provider of information management consulting, market intelligence and advisory services specializing in information governance, eDiscovery, Big Data analytics and cloud computing solutions. Previously, Charles served in various executive roles with disruptive technology start ups and well known industry technology providers. Charles is a prolific author and a regular speaker on the technology that the Global 2000 require to manage the accelerating increase in Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Charles holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Macalester College.